Dorothy Rosby
Contributing columnist
I lost my fitness tracker in September, so I haven’t been able to exercise for almost nine months. I’m joking. I’ve been training like an Olympic athlete, I just can’t prove it without my tracker. But then, you can’t prove that I haven’t either.
You’ll be able to now though. In June, I finally got around to replacing my tracker with an updated, fancy version: the Fitbit Inspire HR. It cost a little more than I wanted to spend, but even if I don’t exercise, I can still use it as a watch.
And Inspire is a good name for it. When I went shopping for a new fitness gizmo, I was just looking for something to count my steps. Clearly I lack imagination. My new Fitbit does everything but the dishes. It’s like a coach that follows me everywhere but doesn’t make me run laps, though it would count every step if I did.
I’m still getting to know it and all of its capabilities. It, on the other hand, knows me very well already. For example, my tracker knows I’ve burned 1018 calories thus far today. And it would know how many I’ve consumed too if I logged everything I ate into the application—and was honest about it. I don’t do that because tracking all my snacks would take away from my exercise time. Also, I’m not sure I want to know.
My Fitbit also knows when I go to sleep, when I wake up, and how well I slept. It even gives me a sleep grade in the morning. I aspire to get an “excellent,” but so far I’ve only managed to get two “goods,” one “poor” and a whole bunch of “fairs.” On the bright side, I toss and turn so much I routinely rack up 50 steps before I even get out of bed in the morning.
Fitbit Inc. isn’t paying me to endorse their product though I’d be open to it if they offered. I do like it, plus I could really use the money. But until they do, I recommend any brand of tracker if you want to be a bit fitter. Get it?
You’ve probably heard the recommendation that we all get 10,000 steps a day. That’s the equivalent of about 30 minutes of daily exercise and it’s a nice round number. I don’t think 9,987 has the same ring to it.
A fitness tracker inspires people to aim for 10,000 steps, at least until the novelty wears off and they start attaching it to their cocker spaniel while they put their feet up for a few hours.
You may feel like 10,000 steps a day is out of reach, fitness tracker or not. Maybe you’re not much of an exerciser or you don’t have a cocker spaniel.
Give yourself some credit! Think about how often you walk into a room, can’t remember why you’re there, leave, and have to come back when you do. Those are steps! Smart as it is, a fitness tracker, doesn’t know the difference between a walk you take because you’re highly motivated to get some exercise and one you take because you’re highly motivated to find your car keys.
Plus I think you’d find that wearing a fitness tracker would encourage you to start taking stairs instead elevators. And walking on the treadmill while you’re watching TV. And parking farther from the entrance. That all adds up, plus it leaves the best parking spaces for me.
Truly, any step is a step toward your 10,000 step goal. Well, except for jumping to conclusions and running off at the mouth, but those both have their own reward.
(Dorothy Rosby is the author of three books of humorous essays including Alexa’s a Spy and Other Things to Be Ticked off About, Humorous Essays on the Hassles of Our Time. Contact